People braved a separatist boycott call and inclement weather to cast their ballots in the second phase of Jammu and Kashmir assembly elections Tuesday. The army foiled an infiltration bid on the Line of Control (LoC) in Kupwara district Tuesday morning, on a day when voters of this border district were queueing up at polling booths. An official said a group of five to eight heavily armed guerrillas made an infiltration bid in Nowgam area of the LoC. Three militants were killed in a gunfight between the security forces and the infiltrators. At Kupwara town, barely 40 km from the site of the gunfight, voters stood in long lines to cast their franchise. People were calm and waited patiently for their turn to vote. Accompanying children played cricket at a polling station, unperturbed by the militant firing.
An average of 32.08 percent of the electorate cast its vote in the first four hours of polling across 18 constituencies of the 87-member assembly that went to the polls Tuesday.
The highest voter turnout of 44 percent was recorded in the Gool Arnas constituency, while the lowest of around 11 percent was witnessed in Homeshallibugh. The separatists gave a shutdown call as well as a call to boycott the polls. While businesses were closed at most places, voters defied the boycott call.
The weather also improved as the day progressed and a cold morning gave way to a bright sunny day.